Economy grows substantially

The Dutch economy saw robust growth in the second quarter of 2006. Gross domestic product (GDP) volume was up by 2.4 percent on the year before. It is the highest growth rate in over five years. Exports were the main driving force behind economic growth. Improving household consumption and increasing investments contributed positively as well. The second quarter of 2006 had a working day fewer than the same period twelve months previously.

After correction for calendar and seasonal effects, GDP volume was up by 1.0 percent on the first quarter of 2006. This quarter-on-quarter growth rate is clearly the highest for over two years.

Households spent 2.8 percent more in the second quarter of 2006 than in 2005. People spent more on durable consumer goods in particular. The volume of government consumption was up by 1.2 percent on the same quarter in 2005. In 2006, changes in the Dutch health care system have been accompanied by a shift from household consumption to government consumption. The figures have been corrected for this effect.

In the second quarter, the growth rate of exports of goods and services relapsed to 6.6 percent on twelve months previously. This is 1.7 of a percent point less than in the preceding quarter. Still exports rose by much more than the 5.5 percent average of 2005. The growth is mainly based on re-exports, although exports of Dutch manufactured products also grew substantially. The import growth rate (6.5 percent) almost equalled that of the exports.

Investments were up by 2.6 percent in the second quarter of 2006 on the same quarter of 2005. Investments in machines and computers increased in particular. To a lesser extent investments in dwellings and lorries increased as well.

Disposable for final expenditure and final expenditure (volume)

Disposable for final expenditure and final expenditure (volume)